Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Under Construction



Hey guys - My first little dip into blogging has been fun and very informative. With the information I learned, I'm coming back full steam next season with a bigger and even better MetsBrotha. Thanks to all who found this blog interesting and all I have to say is just wait. Next year is going to be funnnnn!!! Look for MetsBrotha to make a reappearance sometime in late February/Early March - just in time for Spring Training.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How To Cope With the Loss


Haha now this is funny stuff! Sean Gregory over at Time magazine is a lifelong Mets fan. So needless to say, he's feeling the blues just like all of us. So he asks the question:

So how do they get over it? How can sports fans, whose teams so often tease them with outsize expectations, deal with such unexpected failures? How should I, a lifelong Mets lover who has lived through so much disappointment from this franchise, take the greatest heartbreak of them all?


He continues:

The first step is to accept how much it hurts, regardless of those dismissive observers you might know who tell you to have some perspective, that it's just the end of the season, not the end of the world. Sure, the fate of your sports team is less pressing than, say, your marriage or mortgage, and it may seem ridiculous to tie your self-esteem to the actions of multimillionaire athletes who don't know you one bit, but you have to allow yourself to mourn a little. "It's natural to be upset," says Dr. Richard Lustberg, a clinical psychologist from Long Island and creator of the Psychology of Sports website. "Baseball is being taken away from you. It's difficult to handle, especially when watching Mets games have become part of your routine. There's some reality to it. It's like you've suddenly had an aneurysm."


An aneurysm? Sooooooo watching the Mets lose is like having an aneurysm? Call me crazy but it ain't hurt THAT bad.

You can click here to read the rest of the Time magazine article.

Here's my advice:

1.) First, grab a Heineken. Better yet, since this loss was such a tough one to take... make that some scotch or vodka on the rocks.

2.) Next, lift said drink and swallow as fast as you can.

3.) Next, repeat steps 1 and 2 over and over again until the Mets become the absolute last thing on your mind. Or until you pass out. Either or, you won't have to thnk about the "collapse."

And remember - don't drink and drive! Holla back.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Surprise: Scott Schoeneweis Received Steroids


Why am I not surprised. Looks like Scott "Show Me The Door" Schoeneweis had a thing for juice. And I ain't talking about Hawaiian Punch. Check it out:

Scott Schoeneweis, the veteran New York Mets reliever and a survivor of testiticular cancer, received six steroid shipments from Signature Pharmacy while playing for the Chicago White Sox in 2003 and 2004, ESPN has learned.

According to a source in Florida close to the ongoing investigation of Signature, Schoeneweis' name appears on packages that were sent to Comiskey Park while the White Sox were battling to win the AL Central title in 2003. Two more shipments arrived at the stadium in 2004, months before Schoeneweis underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow.

Source: ESPN.com


First off let me point out again that it seems like a good amount of pitchers were on the juice, far more than I ever imagined. But seriously, do the Mets have to sign all of them? I mean first Guillermo Mota and now Scotty. Sheesh it just gets worse by the minute.

Mets Will Keep Randolph

Looks like Willie Randolph will not be fired after the team's historic collapse.

From Newsday:

Willie Randolph will visit the principal's office today at Shea Stadium, and he'll be told to never, ever do that again. He'll be warned that if he attempts another stunt like this, he can try getting work with his first organization, the Pirates.

Mets ownership, particularly COO Jeff Wilpon, is livid about the collapse that ended with Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Marlins. It's understandable. But it's heartening to see that the Wilpon family - described yesterday by Omar Minaya as "an ownership group that's a fan" - will look past its rage and give Willie another chance in 2008.

Randolph deserves that opportunity, because, just as Minaya said at his Shea post-mortem, his body of work as a manager merits it. He also should come back because it would be criminal to scapegoat Randolph for what turned into a system-wide malfunction.


Honestly, it's the right move. The team's struggles down the stretch were more of Omar Minaya's doing than anything. Willie just played the cards he was dealt. Turns out his deck needed a few more aces and trump cards.

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Sad Day...


I was originally going to post this long analytical piece on everything I think went wrong with the Mets. Then I got an email message from one of the biggest Mets fans I've ever known in my life. So instead of going in depth, I'll just post her email and my response. I think it sums up the emotions that all of us Mets fans have gone through these past weeks.

---

Subject:
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2007 08:32:55 -0400
From: ************
To: ************


Well Keith, I really don't know what to say, except that was the worst Mets game I have ever seen in my entire life. I'm not even disappointed, I'm just mad. The Phillies deserve that playoff spot, they played their hearts out for it and that is something the Mets just didn't do. Things might turn out differently next year if the Mets make some changes this winter. Thanks for the encouraging words the past few weeks.

---

My response:

Hey ***... yeah this sucks. I really kept hope and thought they would eventually pull it out. I mean, they're not called the "Amazin' Mets" for nothing. And after Saturday, I just knew deep down that Philly would blow it and the Mets would slide in. But after the first inning of yesterday's game, I knew it was not to be.

I just can't understand how this team lost so many games in the same fashion night in and night out for the last month. Score 6 runs, take a 3-run lead into the 6th inning, watch the bullpen blow it. Hold the other team to 2 runs, score 1 run on our end, lose the game. I mean it was sickening to watch. No clutch hitting, no clutch pitching... The whole thing is unbelievable.

A year ago I remember saying how the Mets would be good for years to come because the core of the team was young and Omar was building for the future. At the same time the Yankees were the old team of has-beens with the gloomy future. Somehow the whole thing flip-flopped and now the Mets look extremely old.

And what in the world was up with Jose Reyes? The guy seemed depressed for the better part of 4 months and it showed on the field.

They should just let all of the old players on this team go their merry way and continue to build for the future. Wright will be an MVP someday and we should build around him. Delgado, Glavine, El Duque, Alou (even though he hit well this season) Lo Duca, Green, Castillo... I say let them all go. Play Milledge and Gomez or bring up the kid Fernando Martinez and let them play the outfield. Get a young, big bat to replace Delgado or fill one of the corner outfield slots. But most importantly, get an infusion of young pitching talent into the organization. If that means trading Milledge or Gomez so be it.

The big question - would you trade Jose Reyes for Johan Santana? The fact that I can even sit here and not give you a definitive answer says a lot.

Anyway, Omar has plenty of work to do this offseason. They basically need everything - bullpen help, quality starting pitching and a legit, clutch run producer for the middle of the lineup. It sucks not to have October baseball this year when making the playoffs was never really in doubt all season... but hey what can you do?

So for 2008 and beyond... Let's Go Mets!

(P.S. - Even though things didn't go our way this year I can honestly say that I'd still take being a fan of this team over any other team on the planet. They broke our hearts but that sorta comes with the territory when being a Mets fan. This year's team learned a valuable lesson and hopefully it will stick with them when we compete for the World Series next year. Yes, I still believe.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Who Is The "Face" Of The Mets?


This question was posed recently to a group of panelists over at ESPN. It was a simple question - Who is the face of each MLB franchise? Here's the criteria that was used by the panel:

We took into consideration skill, popularity, historical and future impact and a host of intangibles to determine which current player, manager, executive, mascot or symbol best represented each of Major League Baseball's 30 franchises.


So who did they chooses as the face of the Mets? Well 4 out of 5 panelists picked Jose Reyes. The only dissenter was Matt Cerrone over at Metsblog.com who went with Willie Randolph.

Click here to see the results for the Mets.

Here are the complete results for every MLB team.

So what do I think? Without a doubt, Jose Reyes is the face of the Mets. If you ask the average baseball fan this question they will say Reyes. Why?

Well for one, he gets all of the hype and praise on Baseball Tonight and every other baseball show that exists. He's billed as the most exciting player in baseball and was even thought of as a possible top fantasy player and MVP before this season. Plus his smile is infectious, he shows personality on the field and is widely regarded as the gasoline for the the engine that is the Mets offense.

So as you can tell from that glowing (biased?) review I just gave to Jose "Hovito" Reyes, I agree with the 4 panelists.

Now while I love Willie Randolph, I think Matt Cerrone is doing some wishful thinking when they say Randolph is the face of the Mets. Sure behind the scenes, he's the one that runs the ship. But when the bright lights are on, it's Reyes who attracts the spotlight. As a matter of fact, the only managers I can think of that can be considered the face of their teams are Jim Leyland, Lou Piniella and Joe Torre. And Sweet Lou has some serious comp with Carlos Zambrano and Derrek Lee as does Joe Torre with Mr. Perfect, Derek Jeter. So sorry Willie, J-Rabbit got you beat here.

(On a side note, the guy who chose Andy Pettitte as the face of the Yankees needs to lose his right to analyze anything for the nest 2 years. Andy Pettitte? Over Torre, A-Rod, Jeter and Steinbrenner? Please.)

It's funny... if you would have asked me this question 2 or 3 years ago I would have said David Wright without question. Goes to show you how things can change in a hurry. Holla back.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Staying Positive


So I take another little hiatus from blogging... (hey it's the summertime, a brother got to get his Will Smith on!) and when I come back, guess what? The Mets have INCREASED their lead in the NL East. That's what's up, and, it's not entirely unexpected.

Here's the proof. For one, the Mets have the best road record IN ALL OF BASEBALL. Yes, better than the Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees (a mediocre road team), Diamondbacks... you name it. And the key to being an elite team in any sport is how well you are able to perform on the road.

Also the Mets are 23-10 against the Central Division this year. They beat up on the scrubs and hold their own against any team not named Atlanta. Pittsburgh and Washington were exactly the remedy this team needed to make a final push towards the playoffs. With a 5-game lead and only 35 games left in the season, the Mets pretty much control their own Destiny.

So my goal from now until the end of September is to remain positive and optimistic about the team. I want the good vibes to continue and maybe, just maybe, some good karma will rub off on this squad.

Here are a few positives I see going into the stretch run:

  • The starting pitching staff is actually performing pretty well at the moment. Tommy Glavine and his 83 mph fastball is still producing results and El Duque has been outstanding. Add a (hopefully) effective Pedro Martinez to the mix and the Mets are looking pretty good going into September. Also, Jorge Sosa has really adapted to the bullpen well and Billy Wagner has been great all season.


  • The bench has gotten much better since the departure of Julio Franco and once Endy Chavez returns, the bench will be great. The loss of Damian Easley will hurt, but hopefully Endy can make up for much of that. Milledge and Green will probably platoon once Delgado is back, leaving Marlon Anderson in the Julio Franco position of veteran bat off the bench.


  • Beltran is heating up. We've seen this before. When Beltran heats up, he can carry a team all by himself. With Delgado struggling, having a hot Beltran and Alou in the middle of the lineup will be key to the Mets success offensively and in general. Let's hope they both can keep it up.


  • The inconsistency of both the Braves and Phillies is what will really determine the Mets fate. While they should definitely make the wild card at least, it's not entirely out of reason that both the Philthies and the Bravos make late season runs. Getting Utley and Victorino back will definitely be a boost to Philly, and we have already seen the effect Texeira has had on the Braves lineup. The Mets need to protect their cushion at all costs.


  • The schedule. While the next stretch of games will be key to the Mets season (7 against the Phillies, 6 against the Braves), even if they stumble, the last 2 weeks of the season are insanely easy. All of the last 14 games are against either the Marlins or the Nationals (with a makeup game against the Cardinals being the only exception). So even if the Mets are a game or so out, they stand to gain ground at the end of the year as long as they take care of these cupcake teams


So I'm being positive. I certainly think they will make the playoffs and I certainly think they will go at least as far as they did last year. But the goal is the World Series. It's time to go get it. Holla back.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Mets Pen is Bull!!!


Man... it's hard being a Mets fan right now. I hate to be pessimistic about this team but nothing I am seeing right now has me believing they will survive and make the playoffs, let alone win the division. One day it's the lack of clutch hitting. Another day it's the lack of quality starts from the topline pitchers. And more recently and more alarmingly, it's been the lack of the bullpen to hold onto leads or keep the game close.

The last 2 games have been heartbreakers, first with Billy Wagner blowing the game on Friday and then Guillermo "Maybe I Should Have Stayed On The 'Roids" Mota surrendering a grand slam to Josh Willingham that put the Marlins ahead in yesterday's game. The Mets were able to fight back but then Aaron Heilman surrendered a two-run single to Miguel Cabrera... and that was that.

Let's face it, other than Billy Wagner, this ballpen has been horrible. After an all-star caliber first half, Pedro Feliciano has been easier to hit than Paris Hilton. So too for Aaron Heilman, Joe Smith (who is now in Triple-A), Mota, Scott Schoeneweis, Aaron Sele.... did I miss anyone? Wait that's damn there the whole freaking bullpen!

Jorge Sosa has looked good in his limited time so far as a reliever. I like what he's shown me. Maybe it's time to let him set up Wagner.

And what about Wagner? Honestly, I really can't get on the guy. Except for a few recent outings, the guy has pretty much been money. Well money in an Armando Benitez kind of way. Meaning, it seems like he has to walk a batter or give up a hit or two before he seals the deal. Whatever, as long as the end result is a victory, I'll take anything.

Here's what David Wright had to say:

"It's obviously easy as a fan to point a finger at the bullpen," said Wright, who homered twice and drove in three runs. "But our offense needs to do a better job providing a cushion. When we have these teams down, we have to bury them early in the game, and we're not doing that."


Well David I'm a fan and I'm pointing fingers. The bullpen sucks.

And speaking about the offense, they suck too. However, I'm going to state this once again. MLB NEEDS INSTANT REPLAY!!! Not only was Reyes safe last night on that slide home in the seventh inning... he was EASILY safe. Be it the Mets or any other team, I'm just tired of watching these inept umpires decide games with terrible calls. Come on Bud, step up to the plate on this one. Holla back.

I Told Y'all... Rick Ankiel Is A Beast!!!


Remember a month ago when I wrote a blog entry on the homerun prowess of one Mr. Rick Ankiel. Yes THAT Rick Ankiel, the one who was once a dominate pitcher for the Cardinals but then either through mechanical, or more likely, mental problems - could never throw a strike again in his life?

Well that guy was converted into an outfielder. And that guy was brought up recently by the Cardinals after Scott "Now We Know It Was The Drugs That Made You Color That Soul Patch On Your Chin Red" Spiezio was placed on the restricted list.

And what has that guy done in his 3 games since being called up? Try 3 homeruns, 2 in the game yesterday and a big 3-run homerun that put the game out of reach in his first game back as an outfielder. The guy is really trying his best to be Babe Ruth. Amazing.

This really is a pretty remarkable story. I say good luck to Rick Ankiel so long as he does nothing to hurt the Mets chances of making the playoffs or advancing in the playoffs.

Omar should trade for Ankiel and make him a starter again. Maybe Rick Peterson can fix his mechanics in 10 minutes like he said he could do with Victor Zambrano. Okay... maybe not. Holla back.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Today's Matchup

After a great win last night by the Mets (complete with the obligatory "get out of a bases-loaded jam that I created" by Billy Wagner) the Mets look to make it 2 out of 3 against the Braves. Here's the matchup:

John Maine (12-6, 3.27) vs. Tim Hudson (12-5, 2.95 ERA) - John Maine is coming off a horrible outing last time out and is looking to bounce back. The Braves, however, are 10-2 in games started by Hudson after a loss.

The lineups:

BRAVES

W Harris LF .326
K Johnson 2B .296
C Jones 3B .340
M Teixeira 1B .258
B McCann C .267
J Francoeur RF .306
A Jones CF .214
Y Escobar SS .325
T Hudson P

METS

J Reyes SS .307
L Castillo 2B .344
D Wright 3B .301
C Delgado 1B .251
M Alou LF .297
S Green RF .276
R Castro C .290
M Anderson CF .237
J Maine P

No Lastings Milledge in the lineup which follows a trend by Willie Randolph who seems to always sit Lasto down when there's a tough righty on the mound. Marlon Anderson gets the start instead. It's only his 9th start in CF ever for his career.

Not much more to say. Mets need to win this series in the worst way. Let's go Mets!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bonds vs. Clemens: Who's The Bigger Cheater?


Now that Barry Bonds has finally injected his way to the top of the homerun record books, it's time to move past Bonds and focus our wrath on others who may have cheated their way into history.

Subject #1: Roger Clemens

Yes I believe Roger Clemens did steroids. Do we have any hard evidence? No. But then again, do we have any hard evidence on Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa? No we don't. But I think most people believe they juiced up as well.

So here are my thoughts on why I think Roger Clemens did steroids. First, just like Sosa, McGwire and Bonds, Clemens is huge AND a whole lot bigger than he was during the early part of his career. Don't believe me. Check this out:

http://cache.deadspin.com/assets/resources/2007/04/clemensnewandold.jpg

So if you convicted Sosa, Bonds and McGwire on their physical appearance alone, I think you almost have to treat Clemens the same way.

Next, say what you say about Jose Canseco, but Clemens makes an appearance in his book "Juiced," the book that started it all and brought the use of steroids in baseball to a more public light. Here's what was written:

http://thesteroidera.blogspot.com/2007/07/jose-canseco-and-roger-clemens-quotes.html

Canseco mentioned Rafael Palmeiro and we see what happened.

Next, Roger Clemens is apparently mentioned in the affidavit against former pitcher Jason Grimsley, who has admitted to using steroids. Check this out:

http://thesteroidera.blogspot.com/2006/10/evidence-against-roger-clemens.html

Until the affidavit is made public we'll never know. But usually when this information starts getting leaked, there's a flood that follows.

And finally, my own little personal aside... When Clemens threw that bat at Piazza back in the 2000 World Series, I've always felt like that was some sort of roid rage incident. The look on his face alone did it for me.

Add to this the fact that his career stalled in Boston and "magically" turned around once he went to Toronto and New York... I just think the guy looked for an edge and found one with the juice.

I'd go even more into more depth on this but honestly who cares? If Clemens juiced he juiced. Just don't act like Bonds is the only one who did the stuff and then single him out to be the lone villain.

Simply put, Bonds is a cheater and because of that he'll never be respected in my eyes. He's still a hall of famer, but top 5 all-time? Errrr, I don't think so. But neither is Roger Clemens. Holla back.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Congratulations Tommy!


Congratulations Tommy! You earned it.

Now as a Mets fan, I'm probably not as excited for Tommy as the rest of the world. Growing up as a teenager during the 90s, I had to endure some pretty lean years for the Mets (not to mention constant ribbing from obnoxious Braves fans doing the tomahawk chop and bragging about how many division titles the Braves had won in a row. How many World Series did that get ya tough guy?).

Plus, I always felt that Tommy was the beneficiary of a HUGE strike zone from a majority of umpires. He would get strike calls for pitches that were clearly 4-6 inches off that plate. I really hated that.

But now that I look back at it, was it really Glavine's fault that he got those calls? If anything, it just proves how precise, smart and crafty of a pitcher the guy is. He hit his spots on the regular and was rewarded for it.

Think about it, in the entire history of baseball... a game that's been around since the 1800s... only 22 pitchers have 300 wins. Glavine makes it 23. He's also only the 5th left-hander in history to achieve the feat. That in itself is amazing.

And think about it, by all accounts he did it without a dominating fastball (Nolan Ryan), without the use of steroids (Clemens maybe???) and without the help of spit, baby oil, vaseline, hair tonic or any other foreign substance that was available (Gaylord Perry).

(As an aside, having Gaylord Perry in the Hall after he admitted to doctoring the baseball and then getting on Bonds for steroids is the epitome of hypocrisy.)

But back to Tommy. He'll always be a Brave, and I'll always be a Brave hater. But I definitely respect his 300 gangsta. His 300 is just as impressive as the movie 300, which I watched for the first time on high def Blu-ray the other day. That movie was freaking sick. (Sony, you can thank me later for the plug).

So here's to the Hall of Fame Tommy Boy, you earned it. Holla back.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Instant Replay Needed In Baseball


I'm convinced. Baseball needs instant replay.

What prompted me to this conclusion? Well today's Mets/Cubs game of course.

Here's what happened. John Maine gets himself in a little jam in the third inning. He has runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs and Ted Lilly at the plate.

Lilly bunts the ball to Carlos Delgado who goes to third on the play looking to get the force out. He bobbles it a little but still gets the ball over to Wright in time for the force.

Well at least the replay showed that. But the 3rd base umpire didn't see the play and only called Jacque Jones out when Wright applied a tag to him after he overshot the bag. If Jones would have been thinking right away and went back to the bag before he got tagged, he would have been called safe.

So the Mets got the out anyway and weren't burned by a bad call by the ump. But imagine if the ump hadn't called Jones out? It would have been bases loaded and no outs - a far worse situation than runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out.

Okay, moving along in the inning. Soriano grounds out to Maine, moving the base runners to 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs. Up comes Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot.

Theriot grounds a slow roller to Jose Reyes, who grabs the ball and fires a laser to 1st. What's the call? Safe. Cubs take the lead 1-0.

After that, the floodgates open and the Cubbies go on to score 6 runs in the inning, knocking Maine out of the game and essentially putting it out of reach.

Here's the problem. Theriot was out a 1st. Clearly. Without a doubt. No question about it. Replays showed that Delgado had the ball in his glove securely while Theriot's foot was still in the air.

This was the turning point in the game. Instead of getting out of the inning unscathed, that bad call by the 1st base umpire directly led to 6 Cubs runs.

So I think it's time for Major League Baseball to get with the program and move into the 21st century with the rest of the pro sports community. Baseball is the only major sport without an instant replay system. Even the NBA has instant replay!

I understand that the umpires have a tough job... and I'm not advocating instant replay for balls and strikes. Strike zones, by their very nature, are subjective to begin with. It's up to the pitchers and batters to adjust to what's being called.

But for force outs and close tag plays, why not? How many times a week do you see an umpire get a close play at first wrong? Or call a runner out at second who clearly slid in ahead of the tag? Too frequently for my liking.

So what should MLB do? Here's what I think.

First, adopt a challenge system similar to the NFL's. You get 2 challenges a game. In football if you challenge and the play is upheld, you lose a timeout. For baseball, if you challenge and the play is upheld, you lose your second challenge. This seems fair.

Also put a limit on the number of challenges a team can make in a year. Let's say 20. That way crazy managers like La Russa and Pinella can't go hog-wild with the challenges.

Next, stipulate which plays can be challenged and which ones can't. Balls and strikes, balk calls, check swings and fair/foul balls that remain in play are a few I can think of off hand that should not be challenged.

So what should be challenged? Fair/Foul ball homeruns, tag plays, force outs and fan interference all should be able to be challenged.

You may say, "Why not be able to challenge all fair/foul ball calls?" Think about it. Let's say an umpire calls a ball foul that remains in the field of play. Then replays show that the ball was fair. What are you going to do, give the batter a single or a double? How many bases do runners who were already on base advance? 1? 2? There's too much uncertainty involved with this situation.

However, if a batter hits a homerun that goes fair/foul there can only be 2 outcomes. Either the ball is foul or it's a homerun. Plain and simple. This also goes for balls that hit over the fence and are clearly homeruns (like if they clear the yellow line on the fence) but are not called so.

Also, fan interference should be reviewable. No more Jeffrey Maier's having more of an impact on the game than the players themselves.

Baseball almost headed in this direction after the 2005 playoffs which saw A.J. Pierzynski be awarded 1st base after he ran to first on a third strike that he thought hit the dirt. Replays showed it was caught cleanly. The White Sox were able to keep the inning going and eventually win the game.

What did Bud Selig have to say about it?

"Yes, we had some incidents that certainly need to be looked at. So I'm not minimizing them. But do I believe in instant replay? No, I do not,'' Selig said. "Human error is part of our sport.''


Yes Bud, human error persists in baseball. But the key word is "error." And an error of any kind is wrong. Errors are meant to be fixed. Bud needs to fix it.

So that's it. Baseball needs instant replay in the worst way. I think the Mets would agree after what happened today. Holla back!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Willie's Stroke Of Genius (lol)


OK so on Sunday I wrote about how Willie had a serious brain freeze when he didn't allow Castro to hit against the left-handed Ray King even though Lo Duca had just gotten hurt and Castro would have had to come into the game anyway. Instead he had a "hunch" and went with Marlon Anderson instead. Anderson popped out, killing the rally.

Now fast forward to yesterday. I'm sitting home on my couch, expecting to see Pedro Martinez throw against a few unlucky A-ballers, but of course, the minor league game gets rained out (gotta love Florida in the summer).

So I go to the fridge, grab a Coke and a bag of cool ranch Doritos from on top of the fridge and head back to my viewing throne. Then the lineup cards are announced.

Reyes, SS
Castillo, 2B
Wright, 3B
Delgado, 1B
Alou, LF
Anderson, CF
Castro, C
Green, RF
Perez, P

I almost choked on a Dorito. What? Are you kidding me? Marlon Anderson in center field. I don't think the guy has ever played center in his life. And he's batting 6th? What is Willie thinking. Dumb move.

(Now fast-forward to the 3rd inning)

Gary Cohen:

Here's the pitch to Anderson. And it's a high flyball, deep right field... going back is Hart, looking up... that ball is .... OUTTA HERE!!!! A 3-run homerun by Marlon Anderson and the Mets take a 1-run lead!


Need I say more. Willie had a hunch to go with Anderson. Willie's a freaking genius.

Now here's what I wrote on Sunday:

**(Check back next week when I write the exact same blog PRAISING Willie for going with his gut and ditching conventional wisdom. That's the nature of being a fan you know lol.)


Did I call it or what? Now THAT'S funny. Holla back.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Willie's Brain Freeze


OK, so I'm watching Game 2 last night. Critical point in the ballgame. 1 out, tie game, bottom of the 7th. Lo Duca gets a single and then L-Millz smacks a single right behind him. However, while rounding 2nd, Lo Duca comes up lame with a leg injury.

Now Ramon Castro was already on deck and warming up. So I'm thinking, "OK Willie is going to use a pitcher to pinch-run for Lo Duca and then let Castro hit against the lefty Ray King. Easy decision!"

So El Duque comes in to run for the injured Lo Duca. OK, just what I thought.

Then, for some strange reason, Willie decides that instead of letting Castro pinch-hit, he's going to bring in Marlon Anderson, a lefty, to face Ray King.

Willie, I love ya but WTH WERE YOU THINKING!!!!!!!!!!

I literally was in shock.

This was a bad decision for many reasons.

First, the Mets bench was already short since Anderson Hernandez was sent down to make room for Pelfrey and Carlos "The Next Alou" Beltran was unable to play with a strained ab muscle. (Seems like Beltran is either hurt or playing "hurt" all of the time).

So the bench was already short... why waste another bench player when Castro HAD TO come in the game anyway for the injured Lo Duca?

In the words of Willie:

"I was confident in Marlon," he said. "You don't want to use two players there, but you got to go for it."

Okay, so Marlon Anderson was 3 for 5 with a double and a homerun in his career versus King. Pretty good. Is it a good enough sample for Willie to insert him into the game and deplete his entire bench? Hellz to the no. Using 2 players for 1 when you are already short on the bench is a pretty dumb thing to do... unless the pinch hitter you are sending up is Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols. And Marlon Anderson is no Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols. You feel me?

Plus King is the only lefty in the Nats pen. Which means that there was a good chance down the line that Anderson could be used to pinch hit and it would be against a righty.

So of course Marlon Anderson comes in... and pops out. Hovito Reyes comes up next and does the same thing. Rally over. Bench depleted. Brain freeze.

And to make matters worse, of course the Mets come storming back in the 8th bringing the game to 6-5. But in the 9th, after a ground out by Milledge (hottest hitter in the lineup hitting 8th???), up comes pinch hitter TOM GLAVINE. That's right, Tom Glavine had to pinch hit because Willie used 2 players for one back in the 7th. When he didn't have to. Brain freeze.

I wonder if Willie is a big gambler. I mean, he goes with his gut alot, which is fine, but sometimes you have to put your gut in check and do the reasonable thing. Like, for instance, if he was sitting at a poker table with pocket 7s, and the cards on the table were king, king, jack, ace, queen - would Willie put all of his chips on the line against those odds or live to fight another day?

Willie needed to fight another day. Instead he had a brain freeze. Instead of Subway, maybe Willie should be the spokesman for Luigi's Italian Ice. Horrible.

**(Check back next week when I write the exact same blog PRAISING Willie for going with his gut and ditching conventional wisdom. That's the nature of being a fan you know lol.)

Holla back.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

*A Long Sigh*

Seriously, they can do better than this.

From Newsday:

Lastings Milledge was on second base last night when John Maine hit his home run in the fourth inning of the Mets' 8-4 win. As he headed for home, an excited Milledge celebrated in that, shall we say, exuberant style that sometimes ticks opponents off.

Were the Pirates ticked off? Manager Jim Tracy said, "I'm not going to get into that" when asked about Milledge's antics, which included waving Maine around the bases like a third-base coach. But the second pitch of Milledge's next at-bat was a fastball to the elbow from reliever Tony Armas Jr.


---

What a surprise, another "Milledge is a punk and showboat" article from the New York media. This follows what the MSM is prone to doing in this day and age. Once a theme develops, they run with it until it becomes played out or invalid. For instance, Milledge is now the "showboat punk" so every chance they get to perpetuate this theme they do it. We saw this with A-Rod and all of the "he's not worth his contract because he's not clutch" articles. Now the question is how much will A-Rod make and will the Yankees be foolish enough to let him walk away. Go figure.

I watched the entire game last night and L-Millz did nothing wrong. He didn't show up anyone. Now his Reyes handshake homerun is borderline (that little semi-slide/moonwalk at the end may be pushing it), but again that's at the dugout and everyone knows it's not intended to show up the other team. I'd also like to point out that on the pitch where Milledge got hit, HE'S the one who actually initiated the contact and probably should not have been given first base. For Newsday to implicate that he was hit as retaliation is a stretch.

And yes this is yet another Milledge post (takes a long sigh...). Hey did Bonds homer yet? Now there's a REAL punk for you. Holla back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Alou is Back... Er Maybe Not

From the "Why Am I Not In The Least Bit Surprised" department:

Newsday:

The Mets were hoping to activate Moises Alou for Tuesday's game with the Pirates at Shea Stadium.

But the leftfielder will have to stay on the disabled list for at least a few more days after injuring his right shoulder in his final minor league rehab game Sunday at Brooklyn.

Alou, who has been out of the lineup for more than two months with a groin injury, had an MRI Tuesday. The tests revealed tendinitis.


---

I give Alou 2 1/2 weeks before he breaks down again once he returns from the DL. Good ole Moises "Aaachooooo." Holla back.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Welcome Back Marlon; Franco Slammed


The Mets have finally shipped David Newhan back to where he rightly belongs (Triple A)... and brought back an old friend. Marlon Anderson was signed by the Mets and will compete with Gotay and Valentin for time at 2nd base. Definitely a good move if it's a straight Newhan for Anderson swap. At best, David Newhan was a poor man's "Super" Joe McEwing... which really isn't saying much. Marlon Anderson is just the type of veteran/role player that Willie loves to have on his team. Plus who can forget all of the clutch hits Anderson had for the Metropolitans back in 2005. The guy was clutch. Let's hope he still has it.

Now on to this Franco thing... wow, who knew? Check this out:

From The Journal News:

Manager Willie Randolph said Franco should get more playing time with the Braves, and the reason he didn't with the Mets was a .200 average.

"If you play, you have to produce. That clubhouse stuff is overrated," said Randolph, who volunteered the information unsolicited.

Jose Valentin offered up that Franco was a less than eager participant in the club's pregame stretching.

However, what irked some players was Franco wouldn't hesitate to get in the face of some of the younger players about doing their jobs when he was hitting .200 with one homer with the Mets.

"To be a leader for me, it's not enough to talk all the time," Valentin said. "You have to go out and do it yourself."


---

Wow. Now that's VERY surprising. The whole time I was under the assumption that everyone just loved Julio Franco and his "veteran leadership." Come to find out, Willie thought he was overrated and Valentin didn't respect him. And Valentin isn't the type to slam a player so this must be a sentiment that is shared with at least a few more Mets in the clubhouse. Wow.

And of course "Larrrrry" and the Tomahawk Choppers from Atlanta promptly picked him up and signed him. Honestly, I say that's great news for the Mets. Can't wait to see him return to Shea in a Braves uniform so I can watch him swing late at an 88 mph fastball from El Duque. I think I have more bat speed than Franco right about now. Holla Back.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

D-Wright Showing The PSTriple Some Love


Got this from the official Playstation Blog. D. Wright, who is the cover boy for the video game MLB: 07 The Show, took some time out during the All-Star break to visit a few kids at the UCSF Children's Hospital in San Francisco.

While he was there, he signed a few autographs and handed out some free stuff courtesy of Sony. Great job on all sides, can't really hate on charity. In the words of Martin Lawrence...David loves the kids!

If I were those kids I'd take a few of those PS3s and sell 'em on Ebay... $500 bucks is alot to a little kid. I'd keep the autographs though, Wright is the man! Holla back.

Offense? What Offense?

The Padres are the worst hitting team in baseball. But you would never know it judging by how awful the Mets looked last night, and have looked pretty much for the whole season.

The Mets lost last night 5-1, getting shut down once again by Dave "I had too many shots at my local drinking" Wells. Is he the John Daily of baseball or what?

Carlos Beltran... well... let's just say he hasn't performed up to his expectations. Okay, THE GUY FREAKING SUCKS!!! Here's a number for you: .121

What's that? Oh that's just Smelltran’s average with runners in scoring position and two outs (He's 4 for 33 in those situations). And to think, the Mets thought they were getting a clutch hitter when they signed him to that 7-year $119M contract. Remember the 2004 playoffs with Houston? Even Smelltran has to wonder whatever happened to THAT guy.

I like how Willie moved Milledge out of the 8 hole last night. However, I don't think Milledge is a good fit in the 2 hole... at least not yet. Just put Lo Duca back in the 2 spot and stop all of this experimenting, Willie! If it ain't broke don't fix it. Lo Duca doesn't strikeout and he knows how to handle the bat. You can hit and run, bunt, and let Reyes go hog wild on the bases with Lo Duca at the plate. Milledge is probably a better fit at 6 or 7 on this team.

As much as I'm really turned off by Moises "the hypochondriac" Alou, I must admit, his right-handed bat is something the Mets could desperately use right about now. When he gets back I'd slot him in the 5 hole, push Delgado to 6, Milledge/Green 7, and Gotay 8.

So another lackluster game offensively for the Mets. And tonight, Super Jake Peavy is on the hill for the Padres. What's the Vegas odds for a no-hitter from Peavy tonight? My bet's on Peavy. Holla back.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another Day, Another Milledge Attack

Boy... it must be a slow news day. Check out this "wonderful" piece of journalism from a website called the New York Press:

New York Mets outfielder Lastings Milledge made a bold prediction after his team defeated the Nation League-worst Cincinnati Reds 5-2 on Monday: The Mets would easily win the NL East this season. “We’re going to get back to where we were last year when we ran away with it,” Milledge said following the win.

Settle down, Mr. Milledge. We know you had a good series and you’re excited to be back in the big leagues, but let’s not get carried away. For the past six weeks, the team’s much heralded lineup couldn’t hit sand if they fell off a camel. Even after yesterday’s win, The New York Times—the country’s most distinguished newspaper—compared the Mets to a three-year-old girl. This remark comes after the Mets took three out of four from the Cincinnati Reds, which is like beating a paraplegic in a foot race. Their next seven games will be against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, arguably the two best teams in the National League; and the team behind them, the Atlanta Braves, also swept their opponent this weekend, and are generally playing great baseball. At this point, Mr. Milledge, it would be impressive if you just held your current lead. Also, it would be nice if you kept your mouth shut long enough for some of your teammates to actually like you.


---

Wow. Now that last line is a doozy. Guess he ran out of punchlines after the sand, girl, and paraplegic jokes, which all came in succession no less. Can you say overkill?

Anyway, I'm quickly becoming a Lastings apologist which is something I neither asked to be or wish to do. Plus, I don't want to turn this blog into the Lastings Milledge drama hour. But when you get idiots like this bashing L-Millz just for the sake of bashing him... well I have a problem with that.

With his statement and comment, all Milledge is doing is exuding a little confidence in his team. And he didn't bash any players or teams in doing so. He didn't throw his own teammates under the bus or anything like that. So where's the harm?

The writer goes on to say that the Dodgers and Padres are the two best teams in the National League? Sorry but you need more than a few good pitchers to get far nowadays(Can you say Oakland and Minnesota?). The Mets, Padres and Dodgers all have the same number of losses. How are they any worse than those teams? The fact that they still have the lead even after all of the injury problems they had says a lot. To me, it says they may even be much better than their record indicates. Obviously L-Millz feels that way too.

But back to the blatant Milledge attack... I would have been fine with the piece if he stopped before that last line. Up until then it was simply an opinion column. I can live with that. But the last line turned it into an attack. From what I can tell, Milledge's teammates do like him. Alot. Did you hear Beltran basically wax poetic about Milledge the other night after his game winner?

Seems to me like the author is just a weeeeeeee bit biased don't ya think? And when it comes to L-Millz, this seems to be the norm. Holla Back.

A Lastings Effect


The Mets took 3 of 4 from the hapless Cincinatti Reds this weekend and L-Millz, Lastings Milledge, was a big reason for it. In all of the Mets wins, Milledge either scored the key run, hit the key run, or got a key basehit. Even in the Mets 8-4 loss on Friday, Milledge hit a bomb off of Mike "Where'd My Fastball Go" Stanton that gave the Mets some life late in the game.

So L-Millz is doing his thing thing. That's what's up. As Notre Rican noted in his blog entry, maybe the enthusiasm and semi-cockiness that Lastings brings to the table is just what the Mets need to jumpstart them in the second half. So far, so good.

I have a bone to pick with Willie Randolph though. First, why are you getting on Milledge for making a perfect slide that won you the ballgame? We all know that those things are instinctive. Milledge felt like he needed to make that slide... and it turns out that it worked. If you want to make the point that he could have slid and created contact then fine, but to imply that what he did was wrong is very shortsighted. Willie needs to calm down with that one.

Secondly, hitting David Newhan 7th and Milledge 8th is downright unacceptable. I mean, what has Newhan done this year other than NOT get a hit? The guy is batting a cool .200 on the season. Plus, by hitting Milledge directly in front of the pitcher's spot, it almost guarantees that he will see little to nothing to hit... which is probably the worst thing you want to do with a young ballplayer. But then again, Glavine is probably a better hitter than Newhan so if Milledge hit in front of Newhan that's almost the same as hitting him in front of the pitcher. Guess Willie's hands are tied with that one lol.

I really think Willie just doesn't like Milledge. It's sorta like New School vs. Old School. Remember how your parents would freak out when you started listening to hip hop, sagging your pants, wearing baggy jeans and talking all sorts of crazy slang? Okay maybe that was just me but the point is, the older heads always think their way is the right way. And if someone doesn't follow their way, they are quickly deemed to be "a problem." But things have changed, it's a new era and kids don't act like they did 20 years ago. Once Willie accepts that fact then I think he'll finally accept Milledge. But for some reason I see another Victor Diaz situation on the horizon.

A few more thoughts about the weekend. Ollie P. looked great which is good news for the Mets. Ruben Gotay continues to smack the ball around and Beltran and Delgado continue to smack thin air. The boo birds keep getting louder and louder for those two. Pretty soon the boos are going to sound just as loud as all those 747s that fly over Shea Stadium.

Next up, the San Diego Padres. This is a pretty good test for the Mets. The Padres have a great pitching staff and with the way the Mets have been hitting, I can easily see them being stymied by this group. However, if the Mets start hitting against Peavy and the gang, it would do wonders for the team's confidence.

So all I can say is Let's Go Mets! Holla Back.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Some Second Half Thoughts

The Mets have gone through some significant changes since the all star break. So here are my thoughts on them.

1. Firing of Rick Downs, hiring of Ricky Henderson and the promotion of Howard Johnson.
  • Downs and Randolph were close so this may put a divide between Willie and Omar. That concerns me some. I know Willie is the ultimate professional, but it still scares me. But this is further proof that the boss in NY is definitely Omar. No questions about it.

2. Hiring of Ricky Henderson.

  • I don't usually question Omar, but I am not sure about this. Ricky was never exactly what you would call a team player. He would not call him a clubhouse cancer, because he was a lot like Manny is right now. A great player with odd behavior that other players don't really take seriously. But as a coach he needs to be someone who commands the respect of the players. So I will take a wait and see approach.

3. Milledge to the bigs.

  • I am excited about this one. We all know the talent is there. I know people question his attitude, but I like the cockiness and mean streak he brings. I think the Mets are in desperate need of it. If he can play hard and behave the right way around teammates then his personality could benefit the Mets. I think what he has gone through this year has humbled him a bit and will benefit him in the long run. And I haven't even mention what he brings to the field. He fits into Willie's philosophy of playing aggressive baseball and he is a 5 tool player that can add stability to a lineup that needs it. He lengthens the lineup and provides some much needed fresh legs during the dog days of summer.

The team that we started the year with is very different from the one we have now. And with the recent changes combined with the impending return of Pedro and any trades Omar makes, this may be a different team in just two weeks. Either way it will be an exciting summer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

That's My Boy!!!!


It's no secret that I'm a Lastings Milledge fan. The talent and potential are both there... you can see it.

I mean, other than Reyes, who else could have scored from first on a weak single to center field? Matter of fact, who else has the BALLS to even try and score on a play like that?

Plus who else has enough talent to make the perfect slide at home like Lastings did? Think Alou scores on the play? Ledee? Newhan? Please.

The guy is the truth, and while I fear he will probably get traded, I can honestly say I think the guy is the real deal. His bat speed is phenomenal... once he matures and figures out major league pitching, he's going to be a beast.

Whether it's here or in Houston (once the Mets trade you for Oswalt or something like that...) here's to much success in the future L-Millz.

So Milledge scores the winning run and the Mets start the 2nd half on a good note, beating the Reds 3-2. Let's keep the wins coming fellas.

Holla Back.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No Mo' Franco!


It's official. The grim reaper has commeth and taketh the old man away.

Julio Franco has been designated for assignment and is no longer a Met.

All I can say is ......Yesssssssss!!!!!

Yessssss!!! Yesssssssss!!!! Yesssssssssssssssssssss!

OK time to calm down my enthusiasm.

I love Franco, don't get me wrong. But let's face it, that roster spot is too important now to have Franco occupying it for sentimental reasons. He's great for the clubhouse and the players but we need the bat and versatility more. So sorry Old Man but you gotta go. Thanks for making sure Beltran didn't alienate himself from the fans by making him take that curtain call, it is much appreciated. That basically saved him from certain death in NY. Holla back.

Down Is Out... Rickey Sittin' Pretty


Pretty Rickey what they call him. Or more fittingly, pretty Rickey is what he calls himself lol.

The day before the Mets resume their season, hitting coach Rick Down was fired. And guess who was hired as a full-time coach and a possible replacement for Down?

You guessed it, none other than Rickey "3rd Person" Henderson.

From the Newark Star Ledger:

Stealing a move from the Yankees dog-eared playbook, the Mets, who have had trouble scoring runs and hitting with men in scoring position in recent weeks, fired hitting coach Rick Down tonight and added Rickey Henderson to Willie Randolph's coaching staff.

Henderson, who had been serving the team as a special instructor for the past two seasons and who has made leadoff hitter Jose Reyes his pet project, will be in uniform tonight at Shea Stadium when the second half of the season begins with the first of four games against the Cincinnati Reds.

It is unclear, however, whether Henderson will actually replace Down as the hitting coach or whether those duties will go to another member of Randolph's staff.

First-base coach Howard Johnson, who served as a hitting coach while working in the Mets minor-league system, could also be a candidate to replace Down.


---

So there you have it, Down is out and Rickey is in. I don't know, maybe this sparks the club to hit better than the .268 average they hit in the first half. Honestly, there's no excuse for a team that has Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Delgado to be hitting so poorly. Rickey Henderson did wonders for Reyes and his approach n the bases and in the batter's box so maybe, just maybe Omar Minaya is on to something here. Regardless, the clubhouse will surely be a lot more interesting with "the greatest basestealer of all-time" (his quote by the way) prancing through the dugout. Holla back.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I'm Back! And So Is L-Millz


It looks like Lastings Milledge will be recalled to the big squad after the All-Star break:

Lastings Milledge could be the Mets' leftfielder when the team returns from the All-Star break Thursday.

From The Greenwich Time website:

Milledge went 3-for-5 yesterday after going 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs Saturday night for Double-A Binghamton as he continues his rehab assignment from a sprained foot ligament. The 22-year-old seemed to be buried on the Mets' organizational depth chart before getting hurt, but injuries to Moises Alou, Endy Chavez and Carlos Gomez have helped raise his profile.


"The good thing is he's playing," manager Willie Randolph said. "Got a triple [Saturday] night and made a nice diving catch, someone said, so that's all positive stuff. By the time we get back from the break he'll have six, seven games under his belt and we'll look at it and see where he is."


---

Great. Let's wish Lastings well, the Mets really need his right-handed bat in the lineup. Plus the guy has so many nicknames - L. Millz, Lasto, Edge... he's like a hard-hitting, flyball catching version of Jay-Z (who is also known as Hova, Hovito, S "Dot" Carter, etc.) It's safe to assume Jay-Z is the better rapper though. Milledge should probably leave the rapping to the experts. Holla Back.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

On Vacation...

Not the Mets... unfortunately.

No no, MetsBrotha himself is off for a little rest and relaxation. I'll be away until Monday but I will try my best to keep you updated on the latest happenings.

See ya then!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mets Take 3 of 4 - Mission Accomplished

I love it when my predictions come true. Makes me feel all tingly inside.

As predicted, the Mets take 3 of 4 after losing today, 5-3, to the Phillies. Also as predicted, the Mets are stymied by yet another rookie pitcher, Kyle Kendrick. What is it about this team when it comes to these rookie pitchers? They just can't hit 'em. Weird.

Here's the game recap.

Here's what I take from this series. Beltran was awesome hitting multiple homeruns in back-to-back games. May be time for him to break out and go on one of those hot streaks he's famous for.

Delgado showed signs of life with a couple of homers in the series. Maybe that gets him jumpstarted.

John Maine is definitely my "main man" after the performance he put on against Cole Hamels. Dude definitely deserves to be on the All-Star team.

Jorge Sosa's value this season has been understated. For a 5th starter, the guy has been incredible. He provided a bit of stability and certainty to the pitching staff...

...Which is why his injury hurts the team big time. Let's face it, Pelfrey needs work and not at the big league level. Throwing Pelfrey out there every 5 games is a shaky proposition at best.

How hurt is Oliver Perez? He's a young guy with no really chronic injuries in his past so I think the back issue probably isn't too serious.

So the Mets gain ground on the Phillies which is all you can ask for. Hopefully they'll keep it up. Holla Back.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Is Lo Duca A Racist?


Here's the short answer: No.

Now here's the backdrop. A bunch of reporters with nothing to write since there was a rainout, approach Lo Duca trying to find a story. Paul warns them that he was "in a bad mood all day" but would talk to them anyway.

He then goes on to state how other people need to start talking. Here's an excerpt from today's NY Daily News story:

"I'll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players," Lo Duca announced loudly after he was approached by a radio reporter after the Mets-Cardinals series finale was washed out by rain. "It's the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me."

So of course what gets him in trouble is the "they speak English" part.

(*long sigh.....)

Here's my take. At no point in time do I believe Lo Duca said anything in a malicious manner towards the Hispanic players. Context and delivery are very important when it comes to things like this. THE WAY YOU SAY something is very important. I have a hard time believing Lo Duca would do that. He was simply pointing out that the reporters need to start approaching other guys for quotes and that those guys speak English.

The Latin players all seem to agree that it wasn't racist.

Secondly, he has a point. Reporters are lazy (I know, believe me) and instead of asking questions in a way that elicits a good response, they instead go to guys that they know will give interesting answers no matter what. Why sit down with Reyes, Beltran and Valentin (who all speak English by the way) - and have to deal with their accents and broken speech, when Wagner, Wright and Lo Duca are right there? It's the same sort of lazy journalism that pollutes newspapers, radio, and TV newscasts today.

Also, I know some of the Latin players aren't comfortable speaking English and therefore would rather not speak to reporters, but the only way you are going to get comfortable doing it is to do it. If you speak English, there's no excuse not to talk.

So reporters are lazy, the Latin players are uncomfortable and unwilling, and Lo Duca is not a racist. Those using this as an example are just trying to gain attention, trying to sell newspapers or just trying to up their ratings. It's ridiculous. Holla back.

Time For A Double Dip

Make no mistake about it. These next 4 games against the Phillies are important ones for the Metropolitans. Take 3 out of 4, and they put a little more cushion between themselves and the Phils. Lose 3 out of 4 and,the Phillies are right there breathing down your necks. Plus they would gain a ton of confidence and start feeling god about themselves. So now is the time to start stepping it up. Here are the pitching matchups for the series:


Game 1: El Duque (3-3, 2.77 ERA) vs. Durbin (0-0, 94.50 ERA)

Game 2: Maine (8-4, 2.87 ERA) vs. Hamels (9-3, 3.80 ERA)

Game 3: Sosa (6-3, 3.79 ERA) vs. Happ (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 4: Perez (7-6, 3.14 ERA) vs. Kendrick (2-0, 5.00 ERA)

Two things I noticed off-hand. The Mets catch a break by not having Pelfrey come up to make a start and by having Paul lo Duca for the series. All of the matchups favor the Mets except for game 2. The Mets ALWAYS have trouble against pitchers they've never seen so Game 3 might be interesting. But realistically, the Mets have no reason not to take 3 of 4. Time to step it up guys. Holla back.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Madden: Bullpen Is The Issue Not The Starters

In his latest column for the NY Daily News, Bill Madden makes a valid point on how the starters are actually pitching well but the bullpen is what's really faltering. Says Madden:

In fact, you could make the case the Mets' starting pitchers have been their biggest asset, as evidenced by their ERA, which is second-best in the NL.

For now, even Minaya would have to admit the best-laid bullpen plans of last winter have not exactly panned out. The Met brain trust believes that relievers tend to follow good years with bad ones, and for more money - and therefore are interchangeable. For that reason, they chose not to re-sign Chad Bradford and Darren Oliver, despite the considerable contributions each made toward last year's division title. Turns out they were right in that assessment as neither is faring well with his new club. Unfortunately, Scott Schoeneweis, in whom the Mets invested $10.8 million over three years despite a less-than-glittering '06 season with Toronto and Cincinnati, and Aaron Sele (signed to a one-year deal off the free agent scrap heap) have been even worse.

*

I think I'm going to have to agree with Bill on this one. I think that the Mets starting pitching is fine. Ollie P. and John Maine have been better than anyone could have imagined, Glavine has looked better recently, Sosa has been a wonderful surprise and El Duque, when healthy, has been, well, El Duque. Plus Pedro should be back sometime in August which should solidify the staff even more.

The biggest problem with the Mets right now is their inability to get the clutch hits and the lapses by the bullpen. Scott "Show Me The Door" Schoeneweis has been god awful, Heilman has been terribly inconsistent for a setup man and while Darren Oliver had the ability to not let games get too far out of hand, Sele shows no such ability. Therefore, if Sele comes into the game in long relief it's pretty much like signaling the white flag to the other team.

So the bullpen and lack of timely hits (*cough *cough Delgado) is what's bringing this team down. Do you agree? Holla back.

Blame It On The Rain....

Mets win 2-0 after the game was called by rain. Glavine picks up win number 297. To celebrate, here's a video:



Holla back.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!


Boooooooooo!!!!!

Scott Schoeneweis

Boooooooooo!!!!!

Here's a new nickname for ya buddy - "show me the door"

Yep, if you didn't figure it out already, Scott "Show Me The Door" Schoeneweis entered the game last night and gave up the game-winning homerun to extremely light-hitting rookie second baseman Brendan Ryan. All game long, the SNY TV announcers kept mentioning how low of a homerun threat Brendan Ryan was. So as I watched the ball sail over the left field fence in the 11th inning, I couldn't help but think to myself "You've gotta be freaking kidding me, right?"

But I should have seen it coming. The hour... minute... second... millisecond it became apparent that Schoeneweis was coming into the game, everyone in the park, and those watching at home, pretty much had that uneasy feeling in their stomachs.

So Beam Me Up Scotty comes in, gets ahead of Ryan and then, for some strange reason, throws a fastball right down the heart of the plate. And just like that, ballgame over.

Booooooooooooooo!!!!!

The crowd booed the bajeebies out of Schoeneweis. I mean it was brutal to watch. I ALMOST felt sorry for the guy but he's a major league ballplayer getting paid major league bucks to get out major league hitters, which, ironically, Brendan Ryan might not even be. He's more of a Quadruple A hitter this stage in his career. I mean the guy only had 19 plate appearances in his life and 3 hits coming into last night's game, all singles. So to allow a homerun to this guy is pretty much unacceptable. Booooooo!!!!

I know Willie must feel the same way as the fans when Schoeneweis comes in but what is he going to do? Not play the guy? They're not paying him millions of dollars to sit the bench and rot.

Here are Schoeneweis' stats on the season: 30 hits in 27.2 innings pitched, .283 BAA, a 1.81 WHIP and a 5.86 ERA. But here's the worst stat of them all. 20 walks in only 27.2 innings. To put this in perspective, C.C. Sabathia - a starting pitcher - only has 17 walks all season. In 122 innings no less. So Schoeneweis sucks. Majorly.

Booooooooooooo!!!!!

What does Schoeneweis himself think of his performance? Here's a quote:

"My Mom could get in there right now and hit a home run"


That sounds about right Scotty. If I had to make a bet, I'm putting my money on Momma Schoeneweis. I heard she has a quick bat and a Barry Bonds-like presence in the batter's box.

Booooooooooooo!!!! Boooooooooooo!!!! You suck!!!!!!!!!

I'm done booing Scotty. Just show him the door already.

Holla back.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mets Making Push For... Jose Contreras?


According to this published report from the Newark Star Ledger, the Mets have expressed interest not only in Mark Buehrle, but in Jose Contreras as well. The report also states that the Mets are more willing to give up a top prospect for Contreras than they are for Buehrle since Buehrle will only be a 1/2 year rental.

*

OK, here's what I think about this. No, no, no, no, no!

Let me start off by saying I agree COMPLETELY with Omar and management's idea on not giving up a top prospect for a half-year rental in Mark Buehrle. To me, the price isn't worth it. Giving up Milledge, Gomez, Pelfrey or Humber for Buehrle, only to lose him after the season, would be desperate and pretty stupid. Remember what happened the last time Mets management got desperate? They traded away the top pitching prospect in baseball for Victor "I couldn't throw a strike if my life depended on it" Zambrano. So Buehrle for a top prospect is a no go.

Now onto Jose Contreras. The same Jose Contreras that has already proved that he couldn't pitch under the bright lights of the Big Apple. The same Contreras who is 5-8 with a 4.63 ERA, a 1.44 whip and a suspect birth certificate. He's probably older than El Duque. Sure he had a great season in 2005. But the guy is close to 40 years old. Why give up a young top prospect for an aging pitcher who has really only had 1 good year? If Omar did this he would lose some credibility with me I tell ya that.

The good thing is that it doesn't look like the Mets are going to stand pat while everyone around them gets better. Which is good. Just make sure that the deal makes sense Omar. That's all we Mets fans ask. Holla back.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Another word for Ace is Stopper

You hear the term 'ace' all the time in baseball. Every teams needs one to be successful. Players know that when the ace pitches, they have a great chance is at winning. No matter how bad the team is, they believe they can win when their ace is pitching. It becomes even bigger in the playoffs. Look at how the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001 World Series. Schilling and Johnson both pitched 3 times in that series.

So one role for the ace is to give the team confidence when he is pitching. But a more important role for an ace is when he serves as a stopper. A stopper is someone who comes in and stops the bleeding. They breakup losing streaks or bad stretches of baseball and get the team back on track. They are those rare kind of pitchers that not only stop bad momentum, but they generate good momentum.

And that is what Tom Glavine did on Friday night. Coming off a game in which Oliver Perez failed to help deliver a series victory, Glavine pitched 8 innings, while only allowing 1 run. He was able to set a tone for the weekend. When I was watching the Saturday night game, I had confidence the Mets would find a way to win the game. Glavine helped start some positive momentum. You combine this with the good games by El Duque and Maine, Wrights walk off hit and Reyes play where he scored on his own bloop single (who else can turn a bloop single into an inside the park homerun). It was nice to see all the pitchers go deep into games and preserve the pen. Hopefully the bad baseball is behind us and we can enjoy a summer of great baseball.

Run Reyes Run!


The value of Jose "J-Hova" Reyes to the Mets CANNOT be understimated.

Let me paint the scene for you...

Top of the first. Jose Reyes at the plate. Mets need to sweep the A's in the worst way to regain the positive vibes and optimism that have them on top of the National League East.

So the pitch comes in. And boom, Hovito smacks a soft fly down the right field line.

Motoring all the whole way, you could see Jose's eyes light up like Times Square when Jack Cust began lumbering after the ball. The ball drops in. Jose was headed for second and nothing was going to stop him.

Hova rounds first, legs moving like a locomotive. Cust retrieves the ball and hurls it like a missile towards second. But there was no throwing out Reyes. As he slid, the ball sailed into left field. Once again, Reyes could smell blood.

He pounced from his slide like a tiger in pursuit of his prey. Jose's prey was home plate. And there would be no denying him of his feast.

He kept running, and running, and running, rounding third.

Would he make it? Could he possibly score on a soft fly into right field?

Of course he can. He's Jose Reyes. THE Most Electrifying Player in Major League Baseball. Can you smellllllllllllll... what Jose.... is... cooking....

And the sweep was on. Welcome back Mets, we missed ya these last few weeks.

Holla Back.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Exclusive: What Lo Duca Said


For those of you who missed Paul Lo Duca's tirade during last night's game, this is how it went down:

Umpire Marvin Hudson: "Strike"
Lo Duca: "That was a strike are you kidding me?"
Hudson: "Shut up Paul and just swing the bat will ya"
LD: "Wha Wha What!!! Oh hell to the naw! Ok ok I'll let that slide, but that was outside Blue and you know it"

(next pitch comes in...)

Hudson: "Strrrrrrike!"

(Lo Duca jumps out of the batter's box, does a spin, a moonwalk and a split, then pops up and heads toward the home plate umpire)

LD: "WTF!!! Are you f*cking blind or something? You must have eyes of a bat! How'd you call that strike, with your sonar? WTF!"
Hudson: "Calm down Do Luca, before I toss you outta here!"
LD: "Do Luca?, DO LUCA!? Who the hell are you Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo?" Nobody calls me Do Luca, nobody. You betta start calling the strike zone right before you be left sleeping with the fishes paisan!"
Hudson: "Is that a threat? Huh little man, is that a threat? Say one more word and you're outta here"
LD: "One more word"
Hudson: "That's it, Do Luca, YOU'RE OUTTA HERE"
LD: "What? well *&%$#$ you and *&%$#@ with a donkey and &^%$*#* a gerbil!! Don't be surprised when Tony Soprano pulls up in a car besides you and leaves you 6 feet under home plate you f*cking paisan! And STOP CALLING ME DO LUCA!!"

(In comes Willie Randolph to try and break it up)


Willie: "OK guys break it up, we have children in the first row they might hear you. Willie loves the kids."
Hudson: "Get him out of here Willie or I'm sending you home with him"
LD: "Yo Mama!"
Willie: "Whoa Paul, calm down. Don't take it there. Marv, he never meant to say Yo Mama. He didn't mean it he's just a little sensitive. It's the whole Napolean complex thing.

(Willie looks at Lo Duca, then looks at Hudson and makes a face like something stinks)

Willie: Damn, both of y'all breath smell like similac. You want a Tic Tac? (In Rick James' voice) That was Colddddddd Bloodedddddd!!!"

(In comes crew chief Ed Montague)

Montague: "Hey Paul calm down will ya, you know if you argue balls and strikes you're gonna get tossed"
LD: "No the only thing gettin' tossed around here is Hudson's ass when you go to his hotel room. Keep talking and I'll have you tossed in the East River Monty! Both of those pitches were balls and he knows it!
Montague: "Now you listen to me Paulie, I don't take threats lightly. And furthermore, you're the one with the nickname 'Captain Red Ass' so tell me whose butt is the one getting tossed around here? Huh, tell me?"
LD: "F#ck you Monty"

(Paul heads to the dugout)

LD: (whispering in David Wright's ear) "Yo did you like that? Was that a good performance. Oscar-worthy right?"
Wright: "Nah dude you need more, that was a Triple A tirade, I know you can do better than that. This is the Bigs."
LD: "Oh for real? Ok, what is Montague, is that Irish? What's the worst thing ever produced by an Irishman?"
Wright: Ummm well if you ask me, it has to be that song "Jump Around" by the group House of Pain. That was god awful."
LD: "True. Ok watch this."


(Lo Duca tosses his bat, helmet and catcher's equipment onto the field. He heads onto the field one last time and turns towards the crowd. He then proceeds to lead the crowd in his rendition of "Jump Around" by the group House of Pain)

LD: "Pack it up, pack it in... Let me begin... I came to win battle me that's a sin...

(David Wright and Jose Reyes are seen in the dugout jumping around. Jose, thinking it's the song "Jump" by Kris Kross, is wearinig his uniform backwards.)

LD:...I came to get down, I came to get down, So get out your seats and jump around! Jump around!"

(Throwback: "Jump Around" by House of Pain)

(Lo Duca heads to the showers. Applause from the Shea crowd. One guy holds up a sign with the number "10" on it and another guy has made an Oscar award out of the aluminum hot dog wrappers. Omar Minaya is spotted in the A's dugout trying to make a mid-game trade for Joe Blanton involving Lastings Milledge and Paul Lo Duca. Mike Piazza will be a throw in.)

The End


Oh yeah, and the Mets win 1-0 on a soft line drive in the 9th by David Wright. All is good for the Metropolitans. Holla back.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

296... Put It In the Books!


Now that's more like it. Mets win last night 9-1, and for the most part, they have Glavine to thank. Not only did he pitch a gem, but he went 2 for 3 from the plate, including a 2-run single in the 6th that put the game well out of reach.

So kudos to Glavine and the rest of the squad. Homers by Beltran and Shawn Green. Ahhh back to normal. We hope. Here's the game recap. Holla back.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tonight's Lineup

Reyes
Lo Duca
Beltran
Wright
Delgado
Easley
Green
Gomez
Glavine

I like it. Nice to see Lo Duca where he belongs, in the 2 hole. Good balance all the way through. Glavine needs to step up tonight, a win will do wonders for his psyche. DiNardo (A's starting pitcher) hasn't lasted more than 6 innings in a game since being moved into a starter's role so the Mets have no excuse not to get to him. Hopefully the turnaround begins tonight.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Damnnnn Ginaaaaa!

So anyway I was sitting home yesterday watching one of my favorite shows, Martin, starring Martin Lawrence. It just so happens that I have every show on DVD and occasionally break it out whenever I need a good laugh.

Anyway, in one of my favorite episodes, Martin can't find his new CD player so he goes on a witchhunt trying to figure out who stole it. He interrogates all of his friends and prances around the room with this fake dog of his. Then, come to find out, Bro'man from the 5th (4th, 3rd?) floor had it all along.



So what does this have to do with the Mets? Absolutely nothing. Although one could argue that a.) the Mets are just as comedic right now and b.) watching the Mets lose over and over again is like watching repeats of a '90s sitcom. After a while it gets old. As a matter of fact, the fake dog in that Martin clip showed more signs of life than this listless group. When will the madness stop?

So anyway the Mets lose 6-2 after taking a 2-1 lead early on in the game and then giving it right back. Torii Hunter is obviously looking to get paid big time, hitting the go ahead homerun off of Ollie P., continuing what has to be a career year for the impending free agent (can you say new Yankees center fielder?). The Twins never looked back after that.

This is the 6th straight series loss for the Mets and yet they still hold the lead in the N.L. East. So to say that they have been ridiculously lucky during this stretch is an understatement. To put this in context, NO TEAM has ever lost 6 consecutive series during the season and went on to win the World Series. So it's not looking good right now for the Mets to say the least.

Enough with the past, let's move on to the future. Up next, the Oakland A's. Let's go Mets. Game recap here. Holla back.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sloppy Thirds...

This sums up last night's game pretty well:



For more on last night's debacle, click here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Timely Hitting

There is difference between getting a base hit and a timely base hit. Just like there is a difference between batting .275 and a batting a soft .275. Hitting a home run when you are up 10 to 1 means nothing. But hitting a home run when the game is tied in the bottom of the seventh inning changes a game. That has been A-Rod's big knock against him. He produces when it doesn't matter. But that home run he hit against Papelbon in the final game of the last Red Sox - Yankee series was huge for the team (I was actually at this game and had the best seats I have ever had). They have since gone on a tear. This is a perfect example of timely hitting.

Timely hitting is not an area the Mets have excelled in recently, which has contributed to their bad run. Not scoring a guy from third base with less than two outs is an example of untimely hitting. Last night was a little different. Ledee's RBI single in the 4th was with two outs. And LoDuca's RBI single that brought in two runs to give Maine some breathing room came with 2 outs and on an 0-2 count. Hopefully the Mets can turn the corner and get hits in big spots.

Dayum, Rick Ankiel Is A Beast!

Yo Mets fans, remember back in 2000 when the Mets faced the Redbirds in the NLCS, and a young pitcher by the name of Rick Ankiel, who had been dominate all year basically, walked to the mound in Game 2 and promptly uncorked 5 incredibly wild pitches out of 20 and was yanked out of the game. Dude had a major case of Steve Blass disease, even worse than Knoblauch or Steve Sax. Remember that guy?

If not, here's a refresher:


Well it looks like that guy, Rick Ankiel, has somehow magically channelled the spirit of Babe Ruth and has turned into a pretty darned good hitter. Dude was converted into a center fielder and at Triple A right now for the Cardinals, he is hitting .286 with 19 homeruns, which leads the Pacific Coast League. That's crazy.

I say good luck to Ankiel, it was hard watching him struggle like that against the Mets back in 2000, I genuinely felt sorry for the guy.

(OK so what's the over/under that the first time he has a play at the plate, he throws the ball into the left field bleachers instead?).

Holla back.

Maine Man

John Maine proved once again why that trade Omar made, giving up Benson for Maine and Julio, has to be the biggest coup in the last 5 years. OK maybe the third biggest (Kazmir for Zambrano is #1, Nady for Hernandez and Oliver Perez a close #2). He shut down the Twins last night, lowering his ERA to 2.90, good for 6th in the NL and 9th in all of MLB. That's damn good for someone who was only considered to be a throw in in the Nady trade.

Delgado's bat showed some life last night but I'm still not convinced that he's on his way to snapping out of his slump. He went 2-4 with a homer and got robbed of a hit by left fielder Jason Kubel who looked like he ran from like Jersey City all the way to Times Square to make a diving catch by the foul line. He covered a ton of ground. I can't even front, that was a hell of a catch.

The Mets bats were all alive last night, racking up 15 hits and 8 runs. Back to normal I hope.

So the Mets win but let's face it folks, they were supposed to win last night. Show me something tonight against Johan Santana and I'll give 'em some props. Game recap here for anyone who missed it. Holla back.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Interleague Play

Originally, I was not a fan of the wild card. I like the tradition of baseball and I liked having only division winners make the playoffs. It gave the regular season more meaning. But now that I see the amount of excitement generated by the wild card races and playoffs with an extra round, I am a supporter of it. On the other hand, I was a fan of interleague play when it was first introduced. I loved the idea of the Mets playing the Yankees and even the Red Sox. There was excitement in those matchups. There were also other matchups that were fun to follow like Angels-Dodgers, Indians-Reds, White Sox-Cubs, KC-St. Louis, Oakland-SF, Texas-Houston, and now Baltimore-Washington. These provide friends that live in the same area with a friendly rivalry. Every year, you could look forward to seeing who would get the bragging rights for the next year. But unlike the excitement of the wild card growing on me, the excitement of interleague play has diminished.

Is there anyone excited about watching the Pirates play the Yankess? Or the Reds play the A's? How about this weeks exciting matchup of the White Sox and the Marlins? The only series that matches it in excitement is the Diamondbacks-Devil Ray matchup. Seriously, who the hell is watching these games other than home team fans and fantasy geeks (I am included in this category).

And I haven't even gotten into what interleague play does to competitive balance. The Mets will become the first team ever to play all playoff teams from the prior year. Outside of the Cardinals, all the teams are pretty good this year. They also have to play the Yankees 6 times, which doesn't mean as much this year as in years past, but you get the point. I would much rather play the geographical rival for one three games series and then play the rest of the same division in the other league. Interleague play in its current form is a classic example of too much of good thing becoming a bad thing.

What do you guys think?